Wins span over 26 years at Worcester; tally includes soccer, basketball, lacrosse
(Sept. 24, 2021) The Worcester Prep girls’ soccer team’s 3-0 victory over Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference rival, Saints Peter & Paul, on Tuesday in Easton was extra special because it was also Coach Carol Hartnett’s 525th career win.
“I had no idea. It was a surprise,” Hartnett said.
Just before the end of the hard-fought competition, the girls were informed about the milestone.
“[With] 10 minutes left, I turned to Natalie Brushmiller and said, ‘Let’s play a game of covid-safe telephone.’ She replied, ‘Oh goodie,’ and then we proceeded down the line of 20 girls,” said Assistant Coach Allison Bescak. “It was hilarious, so they were all prepared.”
After the game, Worcester Prep Athletic Director Matt McGinnis presented Hartnett with flowers and the players posed for a photo with their coach.
“He said a few nice things, but I was just as surprised as everybody,” she said laughing. “I turned to the team and said, ‘it’s you all, not me.’ The players win the games.
“I don’t emphasize the wins, my goal as a coach is to just make a difference in these kids’ lives,” she continued. “It’s never about the wins and losses, it’s about a great experience, having fun playing and about the memories - having good memories about their experience. That’s what they’ll remember.”
The wins span over 26 years and are an accumulation over multiple sports.
Hartnett has been coaching soccer at Worcester since 1998. She has also coached middle school basketball for 26 years (varsity for one season). In addition, she led the varsity girls’ lacrosse team for 13 seasons. Her final year coaching lacrosse was in 2008.
“I feel like I’m the luckiest person. I’m thankful I get to be at Worcester Prep and work with these players,” Hartnett said.
“I have been fortunate to watch Coach Hartnett coach my twin daughters as well as become her sidekick over the last 10 years. She has the natural ability of bringing a group of individuals together, yet at the same time respecting each one’s individuality,” Bescak said. “Coach H. preaches family first, school next, then the team. It has always worked.
“She weaves traditional bonding activities within the season that just sneak up on the team and catches us all by surprise, causing us all to become one,” she continued. “I learn a great deal from her just by observing. My daughters, the other players and I are all the recipients of the award of being in her presence; she is simply a legend.”
Freshman Danielle Carr scored the first goal for Worcester, about 10 minutes before halftime. Senior Myranda Beebe made it 2-0 with three minutes remaining in the first half.
Senior Anna McDonald gave the Lady Mallards a 3-0 advantage 10 minutes into the second half.
Freshman Abigail Ament played in the goal for Worcester. She recorded five saves.
“She did a great job. She’s pretty solid and super confident in the goal,” Hartnett said.
Hartnett said she set goals going into the game. She wanted her team to make a statement, have control, pass to feet, maintain their new scheme/formation, and for the players to support the ball and play solid defense. Feeling like her players needed incentive, she set a target for the team to score three goals.
“I felt like we needed to make a statement and I thought three goals would do that,” Hartnett said. “I challenged them to all contribute to the game and be a part of it, and they did. It was great.”
Hartnett was proud of her players’ performance and the way they held their composure during the battle with the Sabres.
“It was a brutal, very physical game. They held their own and didn’t respond [when battling with a Saints Peter & Paul player(s)],” Hartnett said.
The Prep squad has a busy week coming up. The Mallards will travel to Centreville on Monday to play the Gunston Herons at 4 p.m. On Wednesday, the team will head to Salisbury to face the Salisbury Christian Jaguars at 4 p.m. The third game of the week will be on Friday, Oct. 1, in Berlin at 4 p.m, against the Salisbury School Dragons.